Soaring News - April 2022



It's great to be back flying again after a winter layup and (mostly) dodging that virus thing. As usual, Rick Clark hosted another great Annual Safety Meeting to reengage our soaring brains and direct our skills towards safe operation. We have concentrated in prior years on landing accidents, but as the data showed, with an increase in takeoff accidents we must now concentrate our flying skills to prevent both takeoff and landing accidents. Proper use of our checklists is a great start, but pay attention to all the other phases of flight that we have learned over the years too. And a reminder to all club members … you do need to review the safety meeting and get a Spring check-out with an instructor before flying any club aircraft.


Learn a new glider? In addition to the proper use of each glider checklist, checking out and flying all the club gliders will help improve our flying skills. The normal sequence to flying all gliders is to start with the K13, improve that skill in the K7 then upgrade to the K21, then G103 or ASW15. They’re all different, they’re all fun, and well worth spending some time broadening your flying skills.


Reminder about Operations Scheduling: a calendar invite is sent to members on the initial invite and when Ops are confirmed. An invite is not sent if Ops are canceled, you may review the calendar on the club web site. Airport construction resumes the last week of May, this most likely will result in some Ops cancellations.


The club did 15 flights after the Safety meeting and 50 flights for the month after canceling Ops 9 days due to weather. The weather normally doesn’t cooperate very well during April. We started Ops with a delay in the use of the K13 due to the radio and vario malfunction. After troubleshooting, the problem was found to be tripped breakers in the radio and vario – both were reset. Connecting the battery to the instrument panel with the master on will trip the breakers. The simple solution is to connect cables white to white, as marked on the cable ends. Susumu has also attached a warning label to the instrument panel cable connector. Circuit breakers were added to the G103 instrument panel during installation of the radio which can be reset quickly if the cable is connected incorrectly.


Congratulations to Brandon Schultz who is flying the CRJ 900 twin jet full time for Endeavor, a Delta subsidiary, though Brandon remains based in Detroit. Brandon has been on a fast track to the airlines after solo in our club gliders at age 14 and towing gliders after just 100 hours PIC in power airplanes. Nice work, Brandon!


Grob G103 tips: A battery tray was installed during the annual inspection. A door behind the rear seat can now be opened to inspect the control hookups and red markings on the 4 wing locks for any movement. Pattern and approach speed is 55 knots, full aft trim helps maintain this speed, full spoilers will increase stall speed about 5 knots and cause the nose to pitch down. Don’t use full spoilers just before touch down due to the increased stall speed that will cause a hard landing plus the wheel brakes deploy with about ¾ spoiler open. Adjust pitch to land on the main wheel, landing on the front wheel will result in a PIO.

Another nice upgrade during the annual is a Becker radio installation – the same radio installed in all our other club gliders. Sometime soon, we’ll be installing a door panel in the wheel cover to allow the tire air pressure to be easily checked.


During early Spring, the thermals are usually strong that allows the tow plane to climb faster than normal, pay attention to the tow plane during tow and respond to sudden increases in climb rates otherwise you could end up low on tow. Tow pilots are encouraged to allow speed to increase about 5 mph when entering a thermal to reduce the glider oscillations.


When turning from base to final keep your aim point on target, nose down and speed up. Outside rudder is OK but inside rudder is a control position for spin training. Pay attention to speed and proper use of the takeoff and landing checklist.


Tom Shipp/Bob Kuehne

Photo Credit: Brandon's Captain!

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